Your source of insights for a successful digital transformation.

Mythological Marketing - The Future of Your Brand is in The Past

mythological-marketing.jpg

What is the meaning of your marketing? What are the roots of your storytelling? More and more companies embark on a long journey to discover the hidden traits of their identity. And what they find is a long red thread that goes straight to the roots of culture and society. 

There is a persistent wave that moves underneath the structures of modern business, molding everything we do. Sometimes we recognize it, sometimes not. This wave is made of myths and heroes, and it is shaping a new marketing. Mythological Marketing.

The union between myths and marketing is not a new thing. The art of selling has always been closely related to the ability to leverage on the hidden meanings we all bring in. That is, in example, the reason why a Brand rarely offers the same type of message in different markets, even for the same product.  

To be compelling and engaging, the storytelling must resonate with the feelings and perceptions (and prejudices) of a particular audience. The content and the context are inescapably entwined, more so in a time of technological revolutions where the concepts of space and time lose relevance.

Myths are the stories people tell to explain nature, history, and customs. Myth is a feature of every culture. Mythologizing continues, as shown in contemporary mythopoeia such as urban legends and the expansive fictional mythoi created by fantasy novels and comics. A culture's collective mythology helps convey belonging, shared and religious experiences, behavioral models, and moral and practical lessons.” (Wikipedia)

As human beings, we come from different narratives, layered over the centuries, but these stories are all rooted in myths: Greek, Roman, Mesopotamian, Norse, Celtic, Egyptian, African (with all its nuances), Biblical, and so on. They all provide a reference to the many stories that have been formed by peoples throughout all of time.

Long gone are the days when marketing was considered a ‘left brain matter’. Today, we know that the emotional elements guide our decisions, not only as people but also as customers. The marriage between the left brain and the right brain is essential to unlocking the unreleased and untapped power of mythological marketing.

If we consider the last couple of centuries, however, it is easy to see how the Western economies have dismissed the emotions in the name of a more rational approach to productivity and economy.

We find it hard to communicate with our emotions. Sometimes, they are even considered a sign of weakness (“You are too emotional!” is a negative catch phrase we hear too often). But now we know that understanding the emotions plays a pivotal role in the creation of meaningful experiences. 

To drive positive behavior, goodwill, and business results, you must engage with customers by deeply appealing to their emotions with delightful, person-centric experiences. If you agree upon the fact that customer experience is the primary differentiator in today’s markets, then you recognize how critical is to study the myths that lay the foundations of our right brain.    

Even though the entire human species shares a few basic, hard-wired emotions, in fact, most of them are a product of the cultural and anthropological substrate. Today more than ever you have to understand and drive the major clusters of emotions that either destroy or drive added value and create loyal customers. 

So, we can define mythological marketing as the marketing that can speak both to the left and right brain. A marketing that can bring the emotional dimensions back to the role they deserve, and blend them with the functional elements, forging a storytelling that is unique and relevant to the customer.

Customer experience, customer journey mapping, content marketing, social media management, psychographic profiling, product development and launch: every single activity you plan and execute is influenced by what you are and what your customers are. Even your company’s archetype comes from there. 

At a basic level, it is pretty easy to recognize the Brands that have been heavily influenced by the ancient myths - especially Greek mythology, embedded into our everyday culture. Nike comes from the Greek goddess of victory; Pandora originates from the ancient Greek “all gifted” woman; Amazon derives from a Greek woman warrior (and so does DC Comics’ Wonder Woman).

Way more difficult is to find companies that have used mythology as the building ground for their storytelling and content marketing efforts. The lack of examples highlights how ‘young’ this marketing trend is, and how many opportunities lie ahead for those who can catch them.  

Recently, the Italian fashion house Prada has launched a jewelry line named Talisman. According to Luxury Daily, this is an “homage to what the Brand refers to as the original designs, as individuals in ancient times would construct and revere objects for their magical properties. 

The main object of the communication campaign was to build belonging, leveraging on a shared narrative every customer could connect with. The launch of the collection, in fact, has been accompanied by a short film that:

Celebrates the potential for the supernatural that exists in these pieces (...) The Talisman film speaks to modern tribalism and the simultaneous coexistence of individual and affinity-centered communities. The talisman itself, a finely made and unique piece, is portrayed as a source of mystic strength, protection, and desire while making a strong statement in support of handcraft." 

Another brilliant example, reported by Harvard Business Review, is about Future Group, India’s fastest-growing retailer, and shows the differences in the approach to myths between Western and Eastern cultures.

Kishore Biyani, CEO of Future Group, shows respect for how the West is innovating the customer experience, but he is also well-aware that such a vision must come to terms with the peculiarities of the Indian tradition.

Thus, he has tried to design innovative customer experiences - aimed at improving employee engagement - that blend the best of West and East, collaborating with consultant and mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik, one of the world’s leading experts on Indian mythology.

Devdutt explained that all employee training programs at Future Group always start with storytelling, inspired by Indian mythology. The goal is to galvanize and inspire workers - from store clerks to senior execs - to adhere to the vision by unveiling it as a story drawn from, say, the Mahabharata with well-known characters like Krishna that they can all relate to.

Mythological marketing is about discovering your true self, understanding the traits that form people and embracing the emotional side of our world. A ‘whole brain’ approach that helps customers believe they are not just purchasing something, but they are taking part in a story. The oldest and most engaging story ever told.

Cover Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash

Download The 7 Pillars Of The New Customer Loyalty to define the foundations on which to build your engagement and loyalty strategy, create innovative experiences and establish a lasting and valuable relationship with your customers.

The 7 Pillars Of The New Customer Loyalty

Topics: Archetypes Digital Customer Experience customer engagement

5 Digital Marketing Lessons From Game Of Thrones

game_of_thrones

Now that the fifth season of Game of Thrones is behind our back, millions of fans (just like us) are trying to recover from the absolute jaw-dropping finale. Shock is the only constant in George R. R. Martin’s epic series.

If there a TV show out there that can teach us something about the world of digital marketing, that is HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Before starting, a necessary ‘spoiler alert’. While in this article we will avoid references from the finale, it may still include some spoilers from previous seasons of the show.

Despite all controversies about the actual contents of the series (too many naked scenes, too many gruesome deaths), there is no doubt at all that Game of Thrones is a great brand, probably one of the best Tv productions ever created.  

And it not just great programming, but also an amazing opportunity to learn few lessons about the art of marketing in the digital era. Taking a ride in Westeros you can find remarkable insights, hidden in the intricate plot twists, the raw dialogues, the extreme characterization of all elements.

It’s no surprise to us that both the novels and the Tv series have gathered legions of faithful supporters, particularly among the youngest (the so-called millennials). Armed with the inseparable smartphone, they are picky customers, demanding and extremely hard to please.

Customers of the ‘post digital transformation era’ know what they want and waste no time looking for your brand. Either you’re there when they need it or you don’t exist at all. They ask for exciting experiences, stories that jump off the screen and inspire loyalty. And Lannister, Targaryen and Stark have pleased them all.

In fact, the Game of Thrones brand has everything needed to appeal digital customers:

Another season has come to an end; ten episodes full of emotional turmoils. And now we will all have to wait in the cold for another year, wondering what the author and the producers have in store for the next season. Nobody knows who will win the Iron Throne, but one thing's sure: the story will raise the bar, even more.

targaryen_got

While we ponder, it’s also worth considering why - as marketers - we’re so enthralled by the destiny of the Westeros. Game of Thrones’ massive success is more than a simple fortunate event. It’s a well planned strategy. Here are 5 digital marketing lessons we can learn from Game of Thrones.

BRACE YOURSELF, GOOGLE IS COMING

We start by borrowing the motto of House Stark, "Winter is Coming". If you’re a fan of the show, you know that Stark is the most ill-fated family of the whole world depicted by Martin. The deep meaning behind these words is one of warning and vigilance. Even when things are good, you must always be ready for unexpected changes.

What’s the greatest marketing challenge in the Internet era? To get noticed by Google and recognized as the first reference to fulfill customers’ needs. Google algorithm, with the mobile-friendly update, could be ‘winter’ for your mobile marketing if you can’t deal with the Mobilegeddon. Knowledge is power: stay in control by staying up to date.

CONTENT IS CONSTANT WAR

In the first season of the show, Cersei Lannister offers one of her most chilling warning: "When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.” Same with content marketing, the ground you build amazing customer experience on.

In an inbound marketing perspective, empowering customers means being what they want to consume, the best resource they find in the purchase process. Game of Thrones gives hints: create an epic storytelling, always exceed expectations and make customers anxiously wait for what’s next.

LOYALTY IS THE KEY TO WIN

Varys ‘The Spider’ explains the two principles that guide most people in Westeros: “Those who are loyal to the realm, and those who are loyal only to themselves.” The world of Westeros is based on one simple fact: every single person is loyal to someone.

Every business wants loyal customers, the key to succeed in the long term. Customer retention is cheaper than acquisition, but way harder to get. You need to be customer obsessed and give people a reason to keep coming back to you: loyalty programs, gamification dynamics, a remarkable customer experience.

ALWAYS DELIVER YOUR PROMISE

The entire Game of Thrones plot revolves around the story of someone who makes a promise and tries to deliver it, no matter how hard it is. The Lannistersalways pay their debts”; Brienne of Tarth tries to protects Catelyn’s daughters; Arya Stark wants to avenge his father’s death.

At the core of every brand there’s a distinctive promise: what you are is what you ultimately deliver to your customers. Every single touch point of the customer journey is shaped by your ability to deliver that promise. In the Age of the Customer, when you sell your products, you always sell yourself too.

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE ENEMIES

Knowledge is power”, says Petyr Baelish 'Littlefinger' to Cersei. If you know what your enemies are doing, then you’re always one step ahead. The game of the throne is played with swords and shields, but also with strategy and analysis. Only the weak has no knowledge.

To stay top of mind, you should know what everyone else is doing and, most important, you should never underestimate your competitors (just look at the ‘retail vs e-commerce’ war). If you know who your competition is, what they offer and how they engage with customers, you can get ideas and discover opportunities.

And remember: in this ever-changing scenario, disrupted by innovative technologies, you can’t rest on your laurels.

You know nothing, Jon Snow”.

 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Customer Loyalty: 5 Celebrity Lessons From Lady Gaga & Co.

To help you ensure a strategic advantage to your organization, learn about the DCX 7-Steps Checklist crafted by Neosperience, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation.

Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist

 

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Gamification Social Networking Branding Archetypes Storytelling Content Marketing Inbound Marketing

5 Content Marketing Facts You Need To Know (To Be Truly Epic)

viral_social_media_post

A great customer experience always lies on great content marketing. With digital transformation in full swing, content has become the new focal point in the overall brand marketing effort.

Great content is never static. It moves with society and technology. In the wake of recent trends, we have traced 5 content marketing facts you absolutely need to know. And yes, they are all true.

In the last decade mobile technology has had a considerable effect in increasing the points of contact between brands and customers. You website is still the primary digital business card you have, but not the only one. The spread of digital properties makes it mandatory to focus efforts - and money - on your online and mobile customer experience.

"Roughly 27 million pieces of content are shared on the web every single day."(AOL, Nielsen

That number will only continue to grow, showing the role of epic content as true king of the marketing landscape. Would you spend your - low - budget on traditional advertising rather than the set-up of a smooth ‘content creation machine’?

It’s a fact that inbound marketing delivers 54% more leads than traditional outbound marketing.

Content marketing has flipped the traditional marketing models from the push paradigm to pull.” (Jeff Bullas)

Marketing for the Age of the Customer can’t even exist without content. In the pre-Internet age ‘space’ was the main element of competition; today brands challenge to retain ‘attention’. The attention of customers is critical to succeed in crowded markets and pave the way for trust and loyalty.

The following stats highlight how competitive content will be in the next years:

  • Content marketing (30%) is considered the most commercially important digital marketing trend for 2015; more than big data (14.6%) and marketing automation (12.8%) (Smart Insights);
  • Marketers now spend 25% of their budgets on content marketing, and 78% of CMO’s think custom and personalized content is the future of marketing (Yahoo Advertising);
  • 86% of companies are doing content marketing, but 56% admits they do not have a defined strategy for it (Content Marketing Institute);
  • 53% of marketers rank content creation as the single most effective SEO tactic (NewsCred).

Content_marketing_stats

Quality is the most important factor you should focus on to increase conversion rates in the inbound marketing perspective. Remember: remarkable content is never product-based; it’s a solution that puts together customers’ needs/desires and company goals.

Content marketing is not about luck; it’s about producing and distributing relevant content, to deliver your message, strenghten your brand identity and empower your customers. 

You are your content, and what you share is what you narrate about yourself. That becomes even more true now that you deal with customers that spend most of their time sharing thoughts and opinions on social networks, using their mobile devices.

Smartphones, tablets, and - last, but not least - the Apple Watch, disrupt the way people communicate and, consequently, how brands build engagement. And content marketing is a puzzle with many moving parts:

  • Start with finding your true why - your vision and mission;
  • Build upon your archetype - the foundation of brand identity;
  • Blend storytelling and technology - evolve to involve;
  • Involve different channels - blog, social media, email marketing, online advertising;
  • Use content to deliver highly personalized experiences at the right time.

If you want to create an amazing digital customer experience, all pieces of your content marketing need to match perfectly. Relationships rely on honest, relevant communication across all touch points of the customer journey. And the content you create is your first line of communication with prospects and potential leads.

content_marketing_tacticsSo, what does the actual landscape look like? Here are the 5 content marketing facts we have promised. They might not surprise you, but it’s way more surprising how many companies still ignore them. 

NEED A PLAN?

Just like anything else in life and business, you need a plan to create a competitive content strategy. You can’t just throw online articles, blog articles and social posts, expecting that customers come to you miraculously. That will never happen, and even Google won't notice you. Coherence and consistency, these must be your keywords.

MIND THE COST

Don’t think that it all comes down to being creative. Yes, the ability to stand out and delight customers with unique content is priceless, but content marketing has a cost (usually 33% of all marketing budget). Not all content is good: you need ideas, you need expert people, you need technology and software. You do need a budget.

BE SHEARABLE

As Hubspot says, “Distribution is what makes content relevant for a specific buyer persona.” Creating invaluable content is useless when nobody reads it. Be sure that you design 'shearable' contents: Nielsen research reveals that users share content when it is trustworthy, helpful, current, relevant, and easy to access on all devices. Or it's about cats.

MEET THE EYE

Internet is a huge database of information. How can you attract customers with your piece of content evenly distributed around the web? Remember that any channel has its own rules: information and delight might come from long articles but the most loved pieces of content are infographics, engaging videos and amazing visuals. Be epic!

STAY SOCIAL

By 2016, there will be an estimated 2.13 billion social network users around the globe (Statista). One numbers says it all. While a mobile optimized website and blog are still the core of your online identity, if you want to connect with customers on all levels  you have to rely on the power of social relations. And if your company still refuses to have a social account … well, you are in trouble.

Blogging, online advertising, social sharing, mobile apps, gamification dynamics, notifications, in-store promotions: they are all based on great content.

What matters is that big companies are embracing big content, and in so doing they are changing the expectations of YOUR customers. Whether you like it or not.” (Jay Baer)

Do you still deny the value of content marketing?

 

To help you provide a strategic advantage to your organization, Neosperience has crafted the first DCX 7-Steps Checklist, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. Download the free guide here:
Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist
Topics: Digital Customer Experience Social Networking Facebook Branding Archetypes Storytelling Content Marketing Inbound Marketing Mobile

5 Great Marketing Ideas From Comics To Get DCX Superpowers

marketing_superhero

Long gone are the days when comic books were considered just a niche market for ultimate nerds lost in a world of superheroes with super problems. In the last decade, comics have become a global marketing phenomenon, thanks to major players like Marvel, DC and Image Comics.

If you are a marketer/entrepreneur trying to figure out how to take your customer experience to the next level, comic books are no laughing matter anymore. They can offer plenty of marketing ideas and teach you how to lead your brand from average to DCX superpowers.

If you still look on comics as a naive industry, and you don’t think they have something to teach you for the Age of the Customer, please consider the following market statistics and trends:

  • Many of the most popular movies of the last years are comic books related: The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Guardians of The Galaxy, Captain America.

  • Many of the most watched Tv series - The Walking Dead, Arrow, Gotham, The Flash, Smallville - are adapted or inspired by comics.

  • The lists of best-selling books are, more often than not, topped by graphic novels and comics volumes (Maus, V For Vendetta, Watchmen to name a few).

In the era of smartphones and other disruptive technologies, you may think that something so traditional and low tech is doomed to disappear; on the contrary, comics sales just keep increasing, both for the paper and the digital version. What’s the secret? Superpowers? It’s all about a clear business vision and a willingness to ‘evolve to involve’ empowered customers.

It is evident that things today are not like they were 70 years ago, when comic characters like Superman and Batman began to take center stage in the collective imagination. Times change and so do reader’s dreams and tastes. As decades pass by, the greatest achievement for winning superheroes - and the comics industry in general - is the ability to evolve without losing their true identity.

This is the first great branding lesson for any company out there: In an era when every marketing executive is looking for innovative ways to engage clients no product, discount or advertising campaign has higher value than loyal customers

Inbound marketing is all about replacing the old interruption model with a customer-centric process aimed at empowering people with an amazing customer experience. Behind this new approach lies the perfect recipe for customer retention: exclusive content plus emotional connections plus context awareness, all tailored to suit clients’ needs.

digital_superhero

When it comes to turn turn customers into devoted fans, you can only learn from the crowds that gather every time there is a Comics Convention somewhere out there. We have carefully investigated this phenomenon, to trace 5 marketing ideas to get superpowers.

STORYTELLING AND LONGEVITY

Great stories develop a strong and coherent narration through the years. They adapt to appeal new generations, without losing or disavow their foundational ethical elements. Continuity is the key factor to foster engagement, and loyalty is not a one shot. It can only be built through the years, nurturing the community with fresh contents and pivotal moments of identification (i.e. conferences and events).

TRANSFORM FOR THE DIGITAL ERA

"The advent of digital screens will kill the paper". The prophecy is - in some way - true for traditional printings like novels, essays, newspapers. Sure, we live submerged in a digital environment, shaped by computers, laptops, ebooks, tablets, yet comic books are still here. Why? They show that, whatever the technology or the industry, digital customer experience is the key to survive. You must renew without losing your true identity. 

FOCUS ON YOUR CUSTOMERS

If the customer is the reason why you do business in the first place, it is critical that you don't lose your focus while dealing with digital transformation. Writers and artists mold their creativity to convey their ideas, but they don't live in a golden cage. They always know the audience they want to reach. Same with super-brands: they know what customers want and try to answer to their desires, deal quickly with issues and deliver a positive customer experience.

THINK AND ACT OMNI-CHANNEL

Major publishers - Marvel and DC, but also Image with the unstoppable march of The Walking Dead - understand that, while traditional formats are still important, they are not enough to ensure real innovation. Today, the passage from pages to movie sets is the norm, and many writers are adapting their method to ensure faster cinematic development (Mark Millar, to name one). Comics, action figures, movies, collectibles, mobile apps, videogames: the rule, in the digital era, is to think omni-channel and push cross-selling.

ATTRACT THE BEST TALENT

What are the distinctive qualities of a memorable comic book? Great writing and thrilling art. Talent is what brings your company to higher levels. Thus, employees are as critical as customers. You need to become the innovative place every talent wants to work for; at the same time you need to develop specific programs to empower people and improve employee engagement. So that each share a common vision and become your first loyal fan. 

The longevity of Superman, Spider-Man, Batman and their friends and foes with superpowers can be attributed to their passage from simple fictional characters to immortal icons. When you read their stories, you enter an emotional world and share specific and unique values. The same way, the building of a super-brand requires a fine tuning, starting from mobile strategy. This is the mission for which we wake up every day.

 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: How Archetypes Changed How We Think About Digital Customer Experience

 The improvement of customer experience is the reason why we crafted the DCX 7-Steps Checklist, a useful guide with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. You can download the free paper here:
Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist
Topics: Digital Customer Experience Branding Archetypes Storytelling Content Marketing Inbound Marketing

How Customer Obsession Will Drive Your Digital Transformation

customer_obsession

Amazon, Starbucks, Nike, Apple, Google: they sell different products; they have peculiar storytelling, identity and archetypes; they are true to distinctive business principles and company mantra.

But one thing they have in common. One single element, more and more critical in this era of technology disruption: they all put their customer at the core of their strategy. They are customer-obsessed brands.

Are you positively obsessed with customers?

Too many brands pay lip service to the importance of a customer-centric approach to marketing, but do they really understand its true implication and impact? Digital transformation for the Age of the Customer requires that you are ready to step in and turn your organization upside down.

We decided that we wanted our brand to not be about shoes, but about delivering the very best customer experience.” With these few words Tony Hsieh, CEO of online shoes and clothing shop Zappos, has summed up the very nature of customer obsession in competitive market environments.  

It’s not just the acknowledgement that clients are crucial for success in the short term; it’s a full-time commitment to create genuine engagement in the long term and, ultimately, impact the bottom line by delivering the most amazing customer experience possible. And you can only achieve this goal if you - and your employees - are fully convinced that the customer 'is' your business.

A recent research by Bain & Company reveals the positive effects of customer obsession: a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by 25% to 95%. That's why the most loved brands prioritize customer experience: according to Forrester’s Customer Index, 39% of outperforming companies have developed a fully integrated omni-channel strategy, connecting the physical and digital experience.

There is a reason Amazon, Google and Apple lead their industries: they don’t just listen to their customers; they give them a seat at the boardroom table and engage them in a two-way communication, as true partners in the development process.

We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.” (Jeff Bezos)

We live in a new era where the decision power has shifted back from brands to the people; an era where one single sale means nothing while loyalty delivers all the value. And numbers tell the whole story. Empowered customers love to be involved:

  • 70% of buying experiences are based on how clients feel they are being treated;
  • 86% of customers say they are willing to pay more for a product/service if they get a better customer experience;
  • 60-70% is the probability of selling to an existing client; just 5-20% is the probability of selling to a new customer;
  • 64% of clients think that customer experience is more critical than price when they need to choose between two or more brands.

So, what do customer-obsessed brands do differently than all others?

ALIGN IDENTITY WITH CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

They don’t just talk, they walk. Customer-obsessed companies know that customer experience management and brand strategy are not responsibility of different departments. They live across the entire organization and contribute to shape consistent identity, storytelling and engagement.

INNOVATE TO IMPROVE THE EXPERIENCE

They always listen before they talk. Customer-obsessed companies are well-aware that clients know them more than they know themselves; so they constantly work to innovate and find new ways, new channels and new devices - did you say Apple Watch? - to improve engagement and retain their loyalty. They are never afraid to try.

ADD A HUMAN TOUCH TO THE CONNECTION

They share love. Brands and customers are both absorbed in an increasingly automated ecosystem. Technology sets the schedule of our daily life and the customer journey becomes a melting of digital and analog moments. We are facing the dawn of a human algorithm, where people demand a human connection in their digital customer experience.  

ALWAYS PREFER INBOUND TO OUTBOUND

They offer value. Customer-obsessed companies understand that traditional marketing funnels are not efficient anymore. The top-down push strategy may have been perfect with passive consumers; it surely does not work with customers hard to please. Top brands, thereby, are embracing the power of inbound marketing, replacing interruption with attraction.

USE DATA TO GAIN CUSTOMER INSIGHTS  

They analyze. Wherever you look, you find a potential source of data, information about competitors, markets and customers. The spread of mobile devices and the Internet of Things will only accelerate the process. Customer-obsessed companies take advantage of Big Data to gain useful insights and improve their output, day after day.

In one sentence (courtesy of Forrester, again): by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. And you will be judged not just by the quality of what you sell, but also - and even more - by the quality of the experience you offer across all touch points and devices.

Start with the customer and work backwards.

 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 4 Good Habits To Deliver Highly Effective Digital Strategies

To help you ensure a strategic advantage to your organization, learn about the DCX 7-Steps Checklist crafted by Neosperience, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation.

Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Branding Archetypes Storytelling Content Marketing Inbound Marketing Big Data

4 Lessons From Walt Disney To Improve Customer Experience

4 Lessons From Walt Disney To Improve Customer Experience

"What was the most magical experience of your life?"

Ask this question to random people on the street and the name ‘Disney’ will probably come out more than any other. It’s a matter of fact: the Disney brand - and its theme parks above all - is deeply linked with the idea of incredible and memorable experiences. So maybe you should ask to Mickey Mouse & Co. how to improve customer experience.

Despite all the controversy surrounding Walt Disney, there is no doubt that he had a clear - and somewhat ahead of time - business vision. In his picture, on the one hand he saw a place where adults and children could see their fantasies come alive and have fun together; on the other hand he predicted the importance of happy customers as key factor to create a successful company.

If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember this whole thing was started by a mouse.

How can you build a meaningful brand? You don’t want customers to buy your product or service once and for all; you want them to come back, become faithful and loyal supporters, and share the good vibes with relatives and friends, so that they can become customers too. The only way to reach this goal is to focus all your efforts on people and become obsessed by the quality of your customer experience.

Great storytelling plus unforgettable experiences: this is, in a few words, the most critical lesson Disney still teaches to all other businesses, day after day. In order to understand what people want and need, you must get out there, be willing to listen (even the questions you don’t want to hear), and finally institutionalize an approach of continuous learning and improvement to deliver the best customer journey possible.

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

As the years pass by, we find ourselves increasingly involved in a digital ecosystem, influenced and altered by disruptive devices - the smartphone, virtual reality headsets, even the smartwatch. Our experience as customers becomes a melting pot of analog and digital moments; even traditional and old-style companies, thus, are forced to rethink their strategies to involve and engage the new empowered client.

At the heart of Disney brand we still find the values shaped long ago by uncle Walt; through the decades, though, managers and marketers have proved the ability to adapt the ‘how’ without touching the ‘why’ and ‘what’: improve the strategy to keep pace with digital transformation while staying true to the true core belief of the founder.

Storytelling and strong identity are, no doubt, the roots of a brand nearly one hundred years old. But that’s not all: there are at least 4 other lessons from Walt Disney, to increase retention and build a better customer experience.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE CUSTOMER

You don’t build it for yourself. You know what the people want and you build it for them.

Whatever you do or plan to do, you should always consider the customer first. It's not by coincidence if the first step of inbound marketing is the creation of your business buyer personas: if you don’t know who you’re talking to, you are likely talking to none. That means you’re only wasting time and money.

ALWAYS EXCEED EXPECTATIONS

Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.

When adults and children enter the magic kingdom of Disney, they feel like dreaming. And dreams always far exceed reality. This is a lesson for you: never settle for less than what your customers deserve. Give them what they need it, wherever they are, across all touch points. Adopt a proactive approach to answer before they even ask for your help.

NEVER-ENDING OPTIMIZATION

I don’t want the public to see the world they live in while they’re in the Park.  I want to feel they’re in another world.

Long-lasting success always lies in the details. We all know the absolute obsession Walt Disney had for every single detail, in movies as in theme parks. You should have the same obsession and willingness to optimize products, identity, service, channels, online and mobile presence. In hyper-competitive markets, you only lose when you stop experimenting.

A BRAND IS MADE OF PEOPLE

You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.

When you connect with a company, the only aspect of the business you see is employees. Walt Disney was well-aware of the relevance of employees to drive and share core values. Company’s culture is always a shared purpose, and the front line is your bottom line: there is no real change without employee engagement. Your workers are your first customers.

Do you truly understand what customers want? Clients will want to return only if you can offer an incredible overall experience. Whether you are a traditional retailer, an E-Commerce firm, a B2B company or a digital brand, unleash the child and embrace the power of magic. Because magic is timeless, indeed.


To help you ensure a strategic advantage to your organization, learn about the DCX 7-Steps Checklist crafted by Neosperience, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation.Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist
Topics: Digital Customer Experience Branding Archetypes Storytelling Content Marketing Mobile

Make The Digital Customer Experience Of You Your One Big Thing

Make_The_Digital_Customer_Experience_Of_You_Your_One_Big_Thing

Among the innumerable truths that Shakespeare told us in his vision of life and humanity, in Hamlet he offered one of his sagest counsels: “Know thyself and to thine self be true.

If you don’t understand what makes you uniquely you – if you don’t know yourself – how can others perceive your greatness, your unique and distinctive value and contribution? Make the digital customer experience of you your One Big Thing.

For professionals and companies, being the distinctive exception means delivering value to your clients or customers. And while more in general you are the sum total of your genetics and environment plus your personal push, I’m more interested here in understanding how you move past your genetics and environment to chart a course that brings out your potential for genius and unique contribution to society.

You, as most of the people, have a huge unused potential. Look at any young child at play and you will see a genius at work. It is estimated that 98% of five years olds score higher in the creative genius range on standardized tests. By age 10, only 32% achieve this. Where has all the genius gone?

Some researchers believe that the capacity for genius is actively programmed out of us as we advance through formal education. By teaching us to conform at every step of our development, society is cutting away those brain synapses, which form the basis for the creative genius you were. As an adult, the paths you choose are limited by this earlier cutting.

Nature, nurture and navigation — instead of working together to create unique individuals with vast potential — work in opposition to each other, creating adults with vast amounts of unused potential that are just about average.

But what does this mean to you today? Is it too late to change your potential and leverage the huge innovation that has been made available to make the difference? The answer is yes and no.

You cannot do a great deal to change how nature or nurture have framed your essence, but you can master today’s navigation choices. And you can answer a first big questions: “What am I supposed to do with my life?” Where do I excel and what could I be “the best in the world at doing?” This question addresses your primary strengths.

If you can answer this first big question, you are on track to finding your purpose in life – your “One Big Thing”.

The second big question is “How do I get noticed?” – that is, “How do I get my voice heard?”, “How do I get my One Big Thing on the other people’s radar?”, “How can I deliver the best digital customer experience of me?” This second big question is as important as the first. You may know what your purpose should be, but unless you stand out from the crowd, in a world where it is increasingly difficult to do so, your One Big Thing will never become a reality.

Discover your One Big Thing, your special purpose – the niche that is perfect for you – so you don’t waste your years going up and down like a jojo devoting your precious time to other’s matter that do not interest you, if not to take home a salary; but we both know that this may not be enough.

When you discover your purpose and take active steps to pursue it, you will become filled with energy, determination and courage. You will jump out of bed each morning, ready to take charge of the day. Your life will have renewed meaning.

And once you’ll have find you One Big Thing, or it will have found you, take care of Your Personal Brand, as the express checkout for you to live your life at ever increasing speed. Your personal brand should communicate something singular. Every aspect of your life and biography should support your brand. To build your brand, remember:

  • Visibility is just as important as ability” – you may be extremely talented at what you do and have a clear, meaningful One Big Thing, but if people don’t know about you or your purpose, you will never achieve your dreams.
  • You can’t brand a lie” – Be authentic. People will sense when your brand and identity do not align.
  • In a media-driven culture, being different is everything” – No one is exactly like you. Celebrate and promote your uniqueness. Communicate who you are and what makes you special.

As Helen Keller, blind and deaf American author, used to say: “Life is either a great adventure or it’s nothing.

Be epic. Make the digital customer experience of you your One Big Thing.

 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Top 3 Digital Customer Experience Tools For Innovative Strategies

If you don't know who you are and what makes you special, you won't be able to build a compelling customer experience. To help you ensure a strategic advantage to your organization, learn about the DCX 7-Steps Checklist crafted by Neosperience, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation.Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Innovation Branding Archetypes Storytelling Content Marketing

5 Key Customer Experience Questions To Ask Yourself in 2015

questions

The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he's one who asks the right questions.” (Claude Lévi-Strauss).

Since customer experience management is, to all intents and purposes, a science, asking questions becomes crucial to understand where and how you can improve your digital strategy. The evolution of markets unveils new opportunities, but also brings new doubts about what you do and what you should do. Here are few key customer experience questions to ask yourself in 2015, to ensure your organization is optimizing the experience of customers.

The path is clear: in the Age of the Customer, placing high value and attention on digital customer experience is more and more critical to business success and competitive status. Technology disruption is undermining from the foundations every certainty that brands have built through the decades. Thus, the willingness to call your strategy into question becomes necessary to fully embrace the digital transformation.

Too many companies still think that the only questions that really matter are the ones you ask to your customers. Sure, they’re critical to know how they perceive your brand and products; anyway, standard questionnaires are all but magic wands. When customer experience really drives success, the only way to foster engagement, loyalty and retention is asking yourself some critical questions about the actual journey you want to design and deliver.

What promise am I delivering?

Your brand is not only a product or service. It is a story, a vision and a promise. When you sell your products, you always sell yourself too. It's a powerful idea, yet not so many foresee the consequences. To build a winning promise, start from your identity and archetype, then build a coherent storytelling and narrate your story across all touch points. As a result, you will deliver your promise in the most compelling and enchanting possible way.

Am I evolving to meet expectations?

The mobile-mind shift has caused a deep change into the market balance: passive consumers have been replaced by empowered customers, demanding and always looking for amazing experiences. How can you be sure to keep pace with customers? Given that evolution is driven by technology, be sure to evolve with the times, considering disruptive devices for your engagement strategy. Innovative personalization is the keyword to meet expectations in this customer-centric moment in time.

Am I thinking omni-channel?

A digital-first approach is mandatory to connect with the new customer. To really take advantage of mobile technology, you need to shift from single and multi channel philosophy to an omni-channel customer experience. As the years pass by, digital and physical swiftly merge into a new reality, defined by multiple touch points - many of them outside company's control. ‘Omni-channel’, then, becomes a reflection of how our life is evolving. To adapt, focus your efforts on the creation of a seamless experience for your clients, wherever they are and whatever device they use.

Do I offer an innovative customer journey?

A sage once said that the journey - not the destination - is the real purpose of life. This is even more true for customers’ life: when they choose to connect with your brand, they’re looking not just for a product that answers their needs, but for a complete experience that involves emotional, social and technological aspects. To understand how to organize the sequence of touch points into a coherent journey, implement a customer journey map, a complete framework that shows the different stages that your customers go through when they interact with you.

Do I use data to make better decisions?

Mobile devices, proximity marketing and Big Data platforms allow you to gather information from multiple channels. Data that trace your clients’ habits, needs and wants, and that you can use to improve the overall customer journey. There’s only one risk: information becomes useless when it is not mined, scanned and readily accessed and shared in the organization. To avoid losing much of data strategic punch, you should rely on an analytics dashboard, that will help you make better business decisions.

Of course, there are many more questions you should ask to yourself. These may or may not surprise you. Either way, use them to take smart actions for success, starting right now. To say it with the German mathematician and engineer Charles Proteus Steinmetz

There are no foolish questions and no man becomes a fool until he has stopped asking questions.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 3 Big Things You Need To Improve Digital Customer Experience

 

To help you ensure a strategic advantage to your organization, learn about the DCX 7-Steps Checklist crafted by Neosperience, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation.

Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Future Archetypes Storytelling Content Marketing

Why Employee Engagement is Crucial For a Better Customer Experience

employee_engagement

Is your employee crucial to deliver a better customer experience? Many companies still think that client satisfaction is a mere result of their outward-facing strategy. Sure, engaged and loyal customers are essential to ensure profitability, but if you forget inner areas of improvement, then you miss a piece of the puzzle. That piece is employee engagement, a key element to enhance the overall performance of your company, customer experience included. 

In a recent article, Brian Solis proclaimed that you should stop focusing on the customer only, if you really want to deliver great customer experiences. Of course the customer is still the core of every marketing strategy, even more so in the Age of the Customer. That is a provocative statement, to point out that successful digital transformation is multifaceted and requires a deep change in all aspects of your organization. Back to the opening question: how much is employee engagement relevant to improve digital customer experience

To say it with Solis, “the entire service-profit chain begins with, and absolutely depends on, engaged employees”. If employees aren’t truly engaged, that dissatisfaction impacts on the outcome, namely the customer experience. When that happens, no matter how much effort you put into your client engagement campaign and customer journey improvement, the whole experience is likely to be unsatisfying and inadequate.  

One figure gives us an idea of how much this topic is considered crucial by managers and entrepreneurs. According to a report by Bersin & Associates, today companies spend over 720 million dollars each year on employee engagement programs, a total that’s projected to rise to over $1.5 billion in the next few years. 

And yet, according to a second research by Gallup, actual engagement is now at record lows, falling down to a mere 13%. How is this mismatch possible? Even though digital leaders know that engaged employees would benefit their organizations, often than not they simply don’t know how to get their workforce to buy in and take part in the change. So, probably, they’re putting their money in the wrong places.

Truth is, sometimes there is no even agreement on what ‘employee engagement’ really means. We can define it as the approach designed to ensure that employees are fully committed to their company’s core values, and motivated to contribute to organizational success. In the digital era, your employee is your first customer: loyalty and engagement become priority for an holistic marketing strategy. 

How to reach this goal, that’s the question. It’s clear that relying just on a traditional surveys is not the answer. Here are few suggestions on how to build an integrated approach, capable to measure real-time and give you insights to drive high levels of commitment. 

  • Share brand purpose - a recent survey found out that only 40% of workforce knows their company's goals, tactics and strategies. Employees will never be engaged if they don’t know what they’re working for. Start by discovering your true why, find your archetype, include people into your brand identity and narrate your company storytelling internally. 
  • Empower your people - 75% of people voluntarily leaving jobs don't quit their jobs, they quit their bosses. Traditional engagement must be replaced with a new approach, aimed at empowering employees. Be sure that you are always able to inspire and support them, enable them to learn and constantly grow, and offer the opportunity to develop their strengths. 
  • Adopt new tools: a new approach means new tools to support your strategy. Surveys are not going away anytime soon, but they are being slowly replaced by techniques that measure commitment and satisfaction in real time. An analytics dashboard can guide you through this amount of data to shape a powerful daily engagement routine.
  • Use Gamification: 70% of Forbes Global 2000 companies already use gamification to boost engagement, retention and revenues. The importance of games to improve customer loyalty is now undeniable, but game dynamics can be also used internally to motivate employees, inspire right behaviors and reward success. B2B gamification, of course, must be tailored to your specific business and supported by a platform to analyze all information gathered. 

Involvement, commitment, productivity: these are the key takeaways of a well-designed employee engagement approach. Ultimately you must understand that employees are the essence of the products and services you sell, and they develop and deliver your customer experience every day.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: All Play And No Work Makes Jack a Zippy Boy 

To help you ensure a strategic advantage to your organization, learn about the DCX 7-Steps Checklist crafted by Neosperience, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation.Get the DCX 7-Steps Checklist

 

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Gamification Analytics Archetypes Storytelling Exponential Organization

3 Big Things You Need To Improve Digital Customer Experience

3_things_dcx

To start off your 2015 with a huge marketing leap, you need something big. Three big things, actually. We all know that the ultimate purpose of digital customer experience is to build the perfect bridge between brands and customers. But you will never get - and retain - customer’s love and trust if you don’t understand deeply yourself and the ecosystem you live in. Here, between the lines, you can spot 3 big things you need to improve digital customer experience.

In traditional markets - ruled by analog models - customers used to opt for you at the purchase moment because:

  • You did build something they loved and/or needed;

  • You did build an efficient contact strategy.

But that was before smartphones came in to change our lives forever. In an era defined by disruptive mobile technologies, where clients can choose from a potentially infinite set of suppliers, you can’t rely on this certainty anymore. Products, advertising and paid content are not enough ensure you get repeat sales: loyalty replaces price as the most important business assets, and the experience becomes way more crucial than what you produce or sell.

What does this mean for your business? That the power balance has shifted from brands to customers, and the client should always be the core of every single strategy you plan.

To shape a compelling customer experience a good approach is to look at things from a totally different perspective. Markets are evolving in so many different ways that you really need a compass to maintain focus. Big story, Big Journey and Big Data (#BigIdeas2015): here lies the foundation of a great digital customer experience.

  • Big Story: the first thing you need is a big story, rooted in your brand identity. "Know yourself to know your customers", this is the rule in the Age of the Customer. The meaning your brand holds is a primal assets, and archetypes are the model that your strategy should be patterned on. Storytelling is one of the main pillars of digital transformation, essential to create an emotional connection with your customer. Remember that loyalty is not just about products or services; it runs hand in hand with emotions. Start with your true why, build a coherent content strategy across all touch points and devices, and don’t underestimate the power of social media and tech revolutions.
  • Big Journey: every story creates a journey, and you should be able to map that journey to understand if your strategy is working as expected. Empowered customers demand compelling experiences: they want what they need, wherever they are and whenever they need it. A customer journey map is essential to learn how customers interact and connect in your mobile, branded, ecosystem, where touch points are potentially infinite (smartphones, wearables, Internet-of-Things). To build a big journey experience, a story is not enough. You need to put customers first, then design personalized and real-time engagement actions - i.e. using gamification dynamics and proximity marketing (iBeacon, push notification).
  • Big Data: from 2015 on, data mining will be mandatory to move with the times. Disruptive technologies produce an invaluable amount of data about the market and customers. The key to success will be the ability to scan, process and turn it into actionable strategies. As Big Data become a priority, at the same time companies will increase investments in analytics dashboards and machine intelligence, to make sense of all this unshaped information. A proper use of data will allow you to anticipate customers’ needs and answer every time they need and everywhere they are, with tailored contents and location-based offers.

We have described a 3-steps path:

  1. you need information to implement your strategy;
  2. you need a narrative background to mold the data clay into a story;
  3. you need a technological and emotional framework to involve people into a complex map.
This is all you need to create an amazing digital customer experience.

To help you provide a strategic advantage to your organization, Neosperience has crafted the first DCX 7-Steps Checklist, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. Download the free guide here:

Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Analytics Archetypes Storytelling Big Data Customer Journey